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The beta on this route is a little confusing; the Dick Williams guides variously list one or more pitches. If there is in fact a second pitch, it evidently never gets climbed, judging by the loose rock and lichen.
That having been said, Scuttlebutt is definitely a worthwhile climb, especially when the more popular routes are occupied. A challenging start goes up a face with sparse pro, trending left to a nose. Follow this nose and the face climbing above it to a spacious belay ledge with a pine tree.
Scuttlebutt starts about 15' left of Day Tripper Direct, and just right of the nose. This section of the Nears is about 15 minutes walk down the trail; the popular landmark in this section is Eastertime Too.
Descent: Rap down from the pine tree.
Small to medium gear (nuts, cams, tricams). Build a gear anchor at the top of the pitch. Rap rings are slung on a pine tree at the ledge.
May 6, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a
A nice P1 variaton start in the Swain guide is Payton Paltz: start to the left of regular route under the big roof 15 above the ground. Up to roof, undercling traverse left, surmount overhang at notch to join Scuttlebutt at the arete. Nice and fun 5.9, excellent gear, easy to scout out from ground. Great for a budding 5.9 leader.